Boston: Children between the ages of seven and nine may be at greater risk for developing asthma if their mothers drank a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages during pregnancy, according to a study.
"Previous studies have linked intake of high fructose corn syrup sweetened beverages with asthma in children, but there is little information about when during early development exposure to fructose might influence later health," said Sheryl L Rifas-Shiman, from the Harvard Medical School in the US.
After their first and second trimesters, mothers who participated in the study completed questionnaires about their food and beverage consumption, including regular soda and fruit drinks.
When their children reached early childhood (3.3 years), the mothers completed another questionnaire to report their children's consumption of a variety of foods and beverages, including regular sodas and fruit drinks.
Based on these responses, the researchers computed fructose intake and analysed results based on quartiles of sugar-sweetened beverage and fructose consumption.
The study, published in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society, found that in mid-childhood, 19 percent of the children had asthma.
According to the findings, mothers in the highest quartile of sugar-sweetened beverage and fructose consumption during pregnancy were 63 percent and 61 percent more likely to have mid-childhood-age kids with asthma.
"Avoiding high intake of sugary beverages during pregnancy and in early childhood could be one of several ways to reduce the risk of childhood asthma," Rifas-Shiman said.